|http://www.sina.com.cn 2005/03/11 18:23 国际在线|
Eastman Kodak Co. is rolling out a higher-speed X-ray film that can halve a patient's exposure to radiation without blurring image quality - and might provide a financial cushion as the world's biggest film manufacturer refocuses on digital technology.
The Hyper Speed G medical film is the first X-ray film in a generation to offer a 50 percent or better drop in radiation dosage, according to company researchers who also say it lessens the need for retakes.
Developed over the last 18 months and tested this winter at children's hospitals in Kentucky and South Carolina, the 800-speed, general-purpose medical film is being shipped this month to hospitals, imaging centers and doctors' offices around the United States and Canada.
"The last time a change this significant was made was about 20 years ago when the marketplace converted from a 200-speed system to what has become the standard 400-speed of today," said Eileen Heizyk, manager of the film systems unit in Kodak's health group.
"There are certainly health risks with exposure to radiation," she said. "How much and what is the risk is debatable but I think there's universal agreement that less is better."
Kodak is betting its future in the digital arena. But its conversion to a world of photography without film could hinge on its ability to stretch out profits from a century-old cash cow that hit a downward trail in 2000.
In Kodak's health business, which accounted for $2.7 billion of the company's $13.5 billion in revenues last year, digital products and services grew 11 percent in the fourth quarter while traditional film sales fell 4 percent.